How do you feel about doing product reviews for free/without keeping the product?

I've been having an interesting conversation about what bloggers are willing to do and wanted to see what others think. You can read more here:


Looking forward to your thoughts.

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There needs to be some "value" to you in doing a review, whether that's cash, a product, a unique experience (like going to a movie or play), or bringing something new to your readers.

I've reviewed very inexpensive products because they were unique and very cool. I wouldn't have know about them if the companies hadn't contacted me, so I'm glad to share their products with others.

I've also reviewed a very expensive piece of kitchen equipment, a sous vide. I didn't mind giving it back because I wasn't crazy about it, wasn't sure if I'd ever use it again, and had no room to store it. However, if I did like it, the company had a special media rate if I wanted to buy one.

It's all about trusting your gut. If you feel taken advantage of by a company to get the "privilege" of reviewing their product, you shouldn't take the opportunity.
This is a great question. I was recently approached to review something and when I brought up compensation the rep told me no. I'm perfectly okay with that but writing a review or a regular blog post takes time and energy. If I'm going to be promoting your product/site/etc I don't think there is anything wrong with being compensated.
I would likely be willing to review for free.  I think there should be a system where if you review you can buy the item for a discounted rate.  I think it's important to not be pressured to only speak highly of a product.
How do you all get companies to contact you about reviewing things?

Hey Penny, you might be interested in this post:


I'd be interested in your response to it :)

Pennylove said:

I would likely be willing to review for free.  I think there should be a system where if you review you can buy the item for a discounted rate.  I think it's important to not be pressured to only speak highly of a product.
I actually *just* posted an unsolicited, free review of a diaper bag. I really like the product a lot, and thought that my readers would appreciate the information. It's also on sale this week, and I wanted to let my readers know about it. I think that sometimes, we focus on the gimme-gimme part of blogging, and not so much on sharing the best information with our audience. Just because I am not getting payment for a review does not mean that I shouldn't share the product with my readers. My blog is mostly a personal blog, about the experiences and challenges that I have as a parent. It's not really a PR or giveaway blog, although I do those things on occasion. Maybe I just don't see what the big deal of payment is because this is not my full-time job? I don't really know :)
No way! Kodak sent me a camera to review and didn't tell me that I had to send it back. So I was super excited to receive it until I opened the box and saw the return shipping label. My time is worth something...and I felt it was WRONG. I told them I wanted to keep the camera and they said I could not, but that I could give it away one the blog. I don't think it's right for companys to ask for our time and offer us nothing in return. After all, advertising to 12000 Mom's is in itself something BIG. I wish more companys would build in budgets for bloggers and stop thinking that our time is worth NOTHING.
I agree with Courtney.  Our time IS worth something.  It just doesn't make sense to me to have to return something. It's a win-win for the company with nothing for our time, and space on our blog.
I have my email on my blog so I've had companies email me directly. I've also sent emails to companies whose products I was interested in.

Pennylove said:
How do you all get companies to contact you about reviewing things?
Reviews take a lot of time. I feel bloggers should be compensated in some way for that time, but sometimes I do find myself advertising for stores that have fabulous sales that I end up buying from, giveaways that I have entered myself on other sites, or items that I have already purchased and love...without compensation because I want to let my readers know about it and a lot of these times were also NOT prompted by pr asking me to advertise for them. I feel obligated to my readers to get the word out if I love the product even if I have purchased it myself, but I do not feel that it is the best interest of the PR or company pushing the products to tell a blogger doing the reviews that they have to pay for the product or not be able to keep it because to me that is a major turn off. My time should be worth something if they are asking me to promote. If I feel like promoting without comp. that is a whole different story.
I take the opportunity to send them a pitch if it is something that I'm personally interested in reviewing. The worst they can say is no, and about 50% of the time, they say yes!

Julie Cohn said:

I definitely agree with others that there should be some sort of compensation for our time-either product, a giveaway, or a sponsored post. 


How do you handle companies/PR firms that send unsolicited emails that do not have a giveaway, product review, or compensation?  You know the ones--a little obnoxious, don't even get your blog name right, and the product/service being advertised does not fit with the content of your blog?  What do you say?  How about if it is a product that you like/are interested in, but they do not offer a review/compensation?  Do you ask for it, or just tell them that you are not interested? 

- Legitimate reviewers/journalists do not get paid by the companies who produce the products they are reviewing.
- Reviewers may be invited to events, wined, dined and of course given samples to review, but to professionals these “perks” quickly become routine and don’t interfere or influence legitimate reviews
- Reviews are content, not a revenue stream
- When you create content you can grow readers and sell ads. Ad sales are a revenue stream
- If you are an expert you can be paid to consult with a company or be a spokesperson, that is not the same as a review
- Mommy bloggers have a bad reputation and induce eye-rolling (even by the companies who work with them) because of many have an unsophisticated and unprofessional attitude toward “reviews”


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